Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote - It's good for the soul

I was up early this morning to hop in the car and go visit my voting place. I don't normally get up excited about much lately, but I wanted to be sure to vote first thing this morning. And I've always enjoyed voting. It makes me feel good. It makes me proud that I am participating in the very thing that makes us Americans.

My niece voted for the first time today. She had to work today as well, so I woke up to start the phone calls at 7:30 a.m. to wake the sleeping beauty. Her grandmother also received a cheery phone call to make sure everyone was ready to do their civic duty.

I was so excited for her. I'm sure I was much more enthusiastic than she was. 19 and voting for the first time. It brought me back to my first voting experience. I was 18 and it was Reagan/Carter. Yes, I just dated myself in a big way. But I remember being really excited to apply and receive my voter registration card. I remember vividly, standing in line and being sure to sign my name exactly as it was on the poll list. I was afraid that if I didn't cross every "T" and dot every "I" they wouldn't count my vote. I remember the whole smell of the place. That sweet smell of a mixture of baked goods, crayons, floor wax and anticipation. I've usually voted in schools for some reason. My polling place seemed to usually be in schools in most of the places I've lived. I was glad for that. Impartial. I always had a problem with voting in churches. To this day, I find that wrong in many ways....but I digress. There is such a feeling of community in the polling places. Volunteers are usually cheerful and helpful. Neighbors are usually in a good mood. And everyone usually knows to keep their mouth shut about their opinions when they reach the 100 ft barrier of silence. The last political sign you see should be the last opinion shared before you go in to cast your vote. It helps keep the place neutral. I like that.

Today, I was greeted with 2 kids hawking baked goods. I was impressed by their persuasive sales techniques. My current polling place always has a bake sale to capture a few dollars from voters who smell the goodies. My husband and I try to at least make a small donation, even if we don't grab a goody. I figure if a Mom or Dad are willing to stand there to help the kids, the least I can do is help with a few dollars.

I'm sure many people have had trouble at their polling place. I've driven people to the polls before, and I know not all the experiences are positive. But my experiences have been very positive. I always leave in a good mood and glad to participate in democracy. Sure, I'll be disappointed if my chosen representatives lose. I will feel elation if my representatives win. But really, that isn't the point. If we all did our little part to get out of our homes and go vote, that is all anyone can ask. If you don't vote, you can't bitch if things aren't going your way. If everyone who is registered, would go vote, we would live in a better America. I know that they should allow online voting, and hopefully some day they will, but for now, they still make it pretty damn easy for all of us to participate. I've never understood why so many do not. It is really sinful if you think about it. Win or lose it is all about the effort participation.

I feel good today. My niece voted, my mom voted, many of my friends voted, my husband voted and I voted. Like I said, voting is good for the soul.